As a person who logs over 100 flight segments per year (about two round-trip flights a month) and spends a lot of time in hotels that somehow always put me on the floor with the craziest kids who like to run up and down the hall all night, having an effective means of creating tranquility is a must.
I looked for noise-canceling headphones for quite a while and tried all that I could. Unfortunately, with the earbud noise-canceling headphones, you can’t exactly try them out. I’m not a huge fan of earbud headphones unless I’m working out. If you are a fan of earbud headphones and are in the market for noise-canceling headphones, check out the Sony MDR-EX71SL/WK, they’ve gotten rave reviews from CNet.
As it is, I looked for the traditional non-earbud style headphones, ones that encompass the entire ear and found the Bose QuietComfort II to be the best. They are intensely comfortable to wear for extended periods (think Los Angeles to Tampa) and don’t get hot like other over the ear noise-canceling headphones. I can’t imagine there is much worse than trying to relax with sweaty ears. The Bose headphones come with a variety of attachments, one of which will allow you to plug into airline audio jacks on the plane and others to plug into just about anything. The listening cord is quite long, and isn’t necessary to use the noise-canceling technology.
The Bose QuietComfort noise-canceling headphones get extremely good battery life – at least 12 hours in my experience on one AAA battery. When using the noise-canceling only, with no music, the effects are satisfactory. They remove much of the background gray noise – especially the “open window” sound on airplanes, but seem to intensify the sharp noises – think baby crying. I rarely use just the noise-canceling on its own, so for me, it is a non-issue.
The best feature of Bose’s noise-canceling headphones is that you don’t need to blast the music as loud as you can to block out the irritating noises both droning in the background and screeching sharp noises. It’s extremely effective with low volume levels and delivers incredibly clear playback quality. The carrying case is a bit bulky, but does a great job keeping everything in one place and protecting your Bose noise-canceling headphones.
The main detractor to the value of these noise-canceling headphones is the price tag commonly found on all Bose gadgets. At $299, it is not for the casual user, but I believe it to be worth every penny. Carefully review the noise-canceling headphones out there, the technology doesn’t just belong to Bose, but the sound quality and comfort, in my opinion puts them in a familiar first place among producers of noise-canceling headphones.